Yesterday (11 April), the UK High Commissioner to Kenya, Nic Hailey, was in Nairvasha looking at joint UK and Kenyan projects.
During his visit, he saw examples of UK and Kenyan firms “innovating and prospering” together in the agritech, biogas and geothermal fields.
At Tropical Power, he saw Africa’s first biogas plant which turns waste maize stalks into electricity. He also spent time with DuduTech, which as part of a programme which is the first of its kind in Africa, breeds insects that eat plant pests, replacing the need for chemicals.
Oxford based Tropical Power have with subsidiaries in Ghana and Kenya and is an EPC (engineering, procurement and construction) company serving energy clients with power plants that use anaerobic digestion (AD), biomass boiler systems and solar PV.
Their associate companies Biojoule and Solarjoule contract Tropical Power to build utility-scale power plants. Following connection to the grid, they hold power-purchase agreements (PPAs) with utility companies. Tropical Power also provides operations and maintenance (O&M) services.
Tropical Power also have an active R&D department, which explores new ways to improve AD production, combine it with solar and develop new biomass crops.
Dudutech was founded in 2001 to develop biological pest control products for Homegrown’s fresh flower and vegetable business. Their mandate was to develop full integrated pest managment programmes to cover all Homegrown’s crops.
The aim was to reduce the use of pesticides and lower pesticide residues, as well as addressing the social and environmental issues surrounding pesticide use, to break pesticide resistance cycles in the crops and to promote long term sustainiblity.
Dudutech pioneer Crop Management in Kenya
In 2001, there was very little legislation to deal with biological pest control products, and Dudutech worked closely with various government and donor bodies in order to develop appropriate procedures and protocols to be the first to bring biological pest control products to the Kenyan market.
Since then Dudutech has grown in leaps and bounds and is a leading bio-pesticide producer and distributor, and a referral institute for Integrated Crop Management (ICM) in Africa. Dudutech employs over 230 people, all Kenyan. Dudutech has three production sites, 14 ha of outdoor insect production, two dedicated indoor insectaries, and state of the art fungus and nematode production facilities. The outdoor insect production sites are based around the equator with year round growing conditions.
Dudutech now supplies 17 biological control products, with more in the pipeline. Recognising the importance of training for succesful Integrated Crop Managment, Dudutech also has a NITA registered training department, that is peer reviewed by Kenya Agricultural Research Institute.
Dudutech supplies into horticulture, out-grower schemes, large scale agriculture, grain and cereal production, tea, coffee and forestry in East Africa, in addition to exporting to South Africa and Europe.